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Mouthing while fingerspelling:
Many Deaf people move their lips while fingerspelling.
Many don’t. It is okay either way. If I were to go out and secretly
videotape hundreds of Deaf people having ASL conversations there is no doubt
in my mind that I would capture many, many instances of English words being
mouthed while being fingerspelled.
In a message dated 11/17/2006 12:32:43 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, chn@ up in Canada writes:
How do you spell a space between words when finger spelling? Or do you just pause?
For example, "Ilovecats" = I love cats.
(I really do, I have had my oldest cat half my life - yes she really is 30 in human years - tragically she now has cancer of the jaw, and I'm palliating her by spoon feeding her, giving meds and drip IV) Are any periods or commas etc., ever used in signing?
Dear Cat Lover,
To indicate a space between fingerspelled words, you simply insert a very small pause between letters.
Skilled ASL signers rarely spell more than two words in a row. We use fingerspelling around 7 or 8 percent of the time while communicating. In the vast majority of cases the fingerspelling is for isolated words, not strings of words. Beginners often worry about how to spell several words in a row because they rely so heavily on spelling, but those who are conversationally fluent it is not an issue. While ASL does have signs for period, comma, and related punctuation, we only use those signs during English class or for discussions about English. We do not use separate signs to punctuate our sentences. Instead we punctuate our sentences with pauses, facial expressions, head-tilts, shoulder raises, and other non-manual markers (body language).